Dartmouth researchers develop a smartwatch that can move on your wrist

The concept can shift in five different directions
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In the quest to make smartwatches even more convenient to wear, researchers at Dartmouth College have produced a connected timepiece that can move on your wrist.

The Cito prototype, which has also been developed alongside the University of Waterloo, offers the ability to rotate, hinge, translate, rise and orbit. The device will be presented at the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Colorado.

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"Users want smartwatches that fit their lifestyles and needs," said Xing-Dong Yang, assistant professor of computer science at Dartmouth. "The Cito prototype is an exciting innovation that could give consumers even more great reasons to wear smartwatches."

But how exactly does this shape-shifting smartwatch work?

Well, according to the people behind the device, the movements help the watch present information to the wearer in a more convenient way. This could include, for example, the face orbiting around the band to allow viewing when the wrist is facing away, or rising to alert the wearer of a notification.

"Consumers will question the need for smartwatches if the devices are just not convenient enough. Cito proves the true potential of smartwatches and shows that they can be functional and fun," said Yang.

But while there's certainly some practical elements being explored with this concept, particularly for those with physical disabilities or other impairments, there's little indication that smartwatches are in need of this innovation on a wider scale.

After all, many people stay clear of smartwatches because they veer too far away from the look of a traditional, dumb timepiece — something that a moveable wrist face wouldn't help. However, as time goes on and smartwatches become more widely accepted, adventurous designs such as this will no doubt be entertained.

Do you like the idea of a moving smartwatch? Let us know in the comments section below.

Dartmouth researchers develop a smartwatch that can move on your wrist

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Conor Allison


Conor moved to Wareable Media Group in 2017, initially covering all the latest developments in smartwatches, fitness trackers, and VR. He made a name for himself writing about trying out translation earbuds on a first date and cycling with a wearable airbag, as well as covering the industry’s latest releases.

Following a stint as Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint, Conor returned to Wareable Media Group in 2022 as Editor-at-Large. Conor has become a wearables expert, and helps people get more from their wearable tech, via Wareable's considerable how-to-based guides. 

He has also contributed to British GQ, Wired, Metro, The Independent, and The Mirror. 

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